NUMBERS MATTER 121
IKLECTIK [off-site] and Zapt present,
NUMBERS MATTER 121
チハルMK 、 おたこ、 川畑優、 AGF、 日野繭子、 大西蘭子
Thursday 22 October – 9pm (UK time) | Free
On IKLECTIK YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/HXFmH46kVEQ
On IKLECTIK Facebook page
Why numbers matter: Japan, a country with a population of over 124.2 million, is ranked at 121 in the Gender Inequality Index (GII) published by Human Development Reports 2020. Japanese women got the vote in 1946 – earlier than China (1949), Liechtenstein (1984) and Switzerland (1993).
In the ranking chart of the Global Gender Gap 2020, the top ten reads as follows: 1: Iceland; 2: Norway; 3: Finland; 4: Sweden; 5: Nicaragua; 6: New Zealand; 7: Ireland; 8: Spain; 9: Rwanda; 10: Germany. The UK ranked 21, following Albania at number 20. Though Japan falls some 100 places behind the UK, the latter’s ranking at 21 is nothing to be proud of either. Clearly there is plenty of work to be done in both countries. Hence, NUMBERS MATTER 121 features four special projects led by Japanese women: Chiharu MK, Otaco, Yu Kawabata (in collaboration with German poemproducer AGF) and Mayuko Hino.
Footnote: In the Press Freedom Index published in 2020, Japan and the UK don’t fare much better than in the GII. Out of 180 countries listed, the UK is ranked at 33 and Japan at 66. The countries listed from one to ten are as follows: Norway, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Switzerland, New Zealand, Portugal and Germany.
“Paramnesia 2020” by CHIHARU MK
“Tomodachi” by OTACO
“Hamaderea Park ” by YU KAWABATA (sound) + AGF (visuals)
“Toyosu 2020″ by MAYUKO HINO
Chiharu MK is from Sapporo. Primarily trained as a composer, she studied the acousmonium, that is, the sound diffusion system, at INA-GRM studio in Paris. Since completing her studies in 2002, she has become an internationally recognised electroacoustic sound artist, either performing or creating sound installations for festival, gallery or non-concert hall spaces in Europe, Hong Kong and Japan. For Intersect 2015, she commissioned the non-Japanese artists Francisco López, Sogar and Taylor Deupree to compose sounds for a 17.1 multi Channel Speaker System (consisting of seven speakers + ten screen speakers + one woofer) in Sapporo city centre’s underground walkway. Chiharu MK has also released three solo CDs: https://www.studio-cplus.net/
Chiharu MK’s new multimedia work Paramnesia 2020 is based on her original piece for Hong Kong Art Centre’s 40th anniversary multi-channel Sound Forms festival in 2018.
This film shows her performing the piece inside Glass Pyramid, nicknamed Hidamari – Japanese for Sunny Spot, it’s the centrepiece of Sapporo’s Moerenuma Park, designed by Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988). Construction work on the park actually began in the year Noguchi died, and it opened in 2005. The film also shows Chiharu MK recording on Ishikari beach, just north of Sapporo.
Taking her name from tako, the Japanese word for octopus, Otaco is originally from Japan’s northernmost main island Hokkaido. An electronic musician and vocalist, Otaco is one of the most vibrant and engaging performers to emerge from the alternative music scene anywhere in Japan.
Now living in Tokyo, she operates a home studio set-up of a rhythm box with a synthesizer; she samples and syncs sounds into a computer, running them into real-time sequences to construct her outre pop-electronica songs and instrumentals. Her music can be heard at https://otacosan.bandcamp.com/music. Otaco also plays guitar when she leads Gotou, an occasional rock trio formed out of homage to early 1980s West Berlin groups Mania D and Malaria!. She appeared for the first time in the UK during Coding In GE 2018 festival for women and technology.
YU KAWABATA & AGF
Antye Greie also know as AGF was born and raised in East Germany. She is a vocalist, digital songwriter, producer, performer, e-poet, calligrapher, digital media artist. In the last decade Greie has released more than 20 full length records and played over 300 live performances worldwide.
AGF runs her own production company AGF Production – http://antyegreie.com
She first worked with Yu Kawabata on her 2015 album A Deep Mysterious Tone, the third in AGF’s series of settings and poetry interpretations from different countries, this one featuring Japanese poets and writers including Noe Ito, Fumiko Kaneko, Shikubu Izumi, Blue Stocking editor and writer Hiratsuka Raicho, and more.
Yu Kawabata is a techno DJ active in Japan and Russia. This is Yu and AGF’s second collaboration. On their first, AGF set to music Yu’s reading of a waka poem, written by the 12th century court lady Yūshi Naishinnō-ke no Kii, enumerated as one of the Thirty-Six Female Immortals of Poetry. On their latest, Yu has created new music for a film by AGF.
Since resuming music in 2011 after a ten year break to study Chinese medicine, Mayuko Hino has reclaimed her status as queen of noise.
A prolific live performer, Hino is best known for C.C.C.C. (Cosmic Coincidence Control Center), the group she formed in 1990 with Hiroshi Hasegawa, Fumio Kosakai and Ryuichi Nagakubo. In their early phase, the band grabbed attention by combining noise music with Hino’s sadomasochism performances using bondage ropes and dripping candle wax. Hino has since been a member of Mne-Mic, DFH-M3 (http://dfh-m3.net/dfh/mayuko.html) and her most recent group Transparentz with Akira Sakata, who split up in January 2020.
Whether solo or in her various group projects, Hino experiments with the function of noise music as a transdisciplinary medium, in the process to breaking the boundaries surrounding performance art: urban structure against man, art against non art, activity versus rest.
In 2018 Mayuko Hino performed at Iklectic’s Coding In GE Festival alongside and in collaboration with Ramleh. The same year she released her second solo album Lunisolar. In addition to self-made instruments, Hino plays noise with her six-theremin oscillators (in bright pink), a unique device specially made for her by Ryo Araishi (aka ichion)
This year Hino had planned to resume activities with C.C.C.C. to mark the US reissue of their first four albums, but unfortunately their plans had to be put on hold because of the pandemic.
“There’s a sense of momentum to be found in Hino’s noise; it’s rarely static… At the hands of Hino it seems astral travelling is as much out-of-this-world as it is an out-of-body experience… on Lunisolar she continues with the ever evolving atmospheric and psychedelic sound that energised the noise of C.C.C.C.” (Compulsion Online)
“Hino Mayuko makes no bones about her wide-ranging noisician flexibility here, nor her honored place in the contemporary Japanoise scene… Unlike a bevy of artists who just make ear-splitting sonic somersaults, Hino’s sound is more impressionistic and staggered in its delivery, incorporating a yin/yang of the industrial and environmental.” (Tone-Shift)
RANKO ONISHI (Mne-mic): voice
Performing artist Ranko Onishi was born in Hokkaido. She moved to Tokyo where she joined Shuji Terayama’s Tenjo Sajiki theatre company in 1980. She was a second year student of dancer Min Tanaka in 1982 and became a full member of Tanaka’s company in 1984. Five years later in 1989 she performed with Keiji Haino. She and Hino work together in the duo Mne-mic, featuring Hino on electronics, Theremin and synthesizer, and Onishi on voice, water and fogphone. Their album Gulf Stream was released by Alchemy Records in 1999.
Curator Keiko Yoshida’s notes for NUMBERS MATTER 121
While researching texts for AGF’s 2015 CD A Deep Mysterious Tone I developed a profound interest in women’s history in Japan. AGF and I first met and begain talking about her project while she was taking part in my hometown Sapporo’s International Arts Festival in 2014. For the album she compiled and set to music Japanese writings and poems from the ninth century to the present day, and commissioned the female electronic musicians Ryoko Akama (UK), Kyoka (Germany), Tujiko Noriko (France) and Yu Kawabata to read her selections. She had met them at European festivals, and as she got to know them she learnt these female electronic musicians are not treated very well when they’re back home in Japan.
Indeed NUMBERS MATTER 121 took seed in these discussions on women and Japan with AGF. In some ways it’s also a sequel to “Coding in GE”, the 2018 Iklectik festival offering a platform to female electronic musicians, for which we got funding from Sasakawa Foundation UK, and in which Otaco, Mayuko Hino and AGF participated.
Another question addressed in NUMBERS MATTER 121 is the subject of decentralisation. I consciously asked musicians from outside Tokyo to participate in this project.
Currently working on a photo story book about 1980s London and Berlin.
Project produced by IKLECTIK